Only what you take with you

Wifey was studying for an exam recently and it brought back memories of my college days. And a method I used when I crammed for finals.

When preparing for a final, I would take my notes for the whole semester and reduce them to a few pages of study notes. Only the parts I could expect to be tested on, and that I did not already know backwards and forwards.

Then I would recycle all the notes from the semester, holding onto only the summary. I would study that backwards and forwards. Mastering it. Trying to retain every date, fact, and formula.

I would study these pages right up to standing outside the door to the exam.

And then I would discard the notes.

And enter.

By removing the notes from my possession, I took away the safety net. I broke the chain of “I do not have to remember it because I have it written down” that we all fall into.

How many phone numbers do you not know because your phone remembers them for you? How many actor’s filmographies do you leave to Imdb to keep track of? The human mind naturally discards information it can retrieve easily. But this automatic deleting is easily disrupted.

Destroying my notes as a last act meant the information was not out in the world. It had to be inside me.

When I walked through the door to the test, there was no looking back.

Without Things, I am always enough.